The stars of Desperate Housewives are
lined up to appear in court as former cast member Nicolette Sheridan
seeks to prove she was wrongfully fired from the hit series.
Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman have all been
named as witnesses in the trial that starts in Los Angeles today.
have been called as witnesses for the show’s creator Marc Cherry who is
accused of sacking Sheridan after she accused him of striking her in
the face over a script disagreement.
Sheridan is seeking $4m in lost income after she was killed off in the series in 2009.
The 48-year-old star was one of the
original cast members of the series which has proved a worldwide hit but
ends its eight year run later this year.
The British born star claims she was
fired from her role as man-eater Edie Britt after she spoke up about
Cherry’s alleged assault during rehearsals.
She had originally wanted $20m after
filing a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination, sexual harassment,
emotional distress as well as assault a battery.
members of the cast as his witnesses in the trial, seen here Housewives
Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria
A judge at a pre-trial hearing only
allowed Sheridan to proceed with the wrongful termination and battery
claims in her civil suit.
He also ruled that Sheridan could only get damages of one year’s salary, which is about $4m.
In a case that will be closely watched
by Hollywood executives Sheridan claims she was killed off when she
complained to bosses at the ABC Network about her treatment.
She alleges Marc Cherry slapped her
across the face during an on set disagreement. Soon after her character
in the series met a grisly end when her car hit an electrical pole.
The actress plans to call top ABC executives, including its former president Steve McPherson.
Sheridan’s witness list also includes
her entertainment lawyer, Neil Meyer, her publicist, Nicole Perna, and
one of the show’s former producers, Lori Kirkland Baker, according to
the Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Cherry has named the other Desperate Housewives as his witnesses.
There are also 25 others including
Neal Baer, a seven-time Emmy Award nominee on such shows as Law &
Order: SVU and A Gifted Man who is said will offer his expert opinion on
casting decisions in Hollywood.
In court papers already filed ahead of the trial ABC TV lawyers said a character being killed off was routine.
‘Death is as much a part of scripted television as it is a part of life,’ says the papers.
‘Of course, whenever a character dies, an actor loses a job. That is what happened here.’
The trial judge has refused to allow the proceedings, which began today with jury selection, to be televised.
The trial is expected to last up to 11 days.